Gilbert, Ariz., (1/27/10) – Obesity and diabetes have become national epidemics. Combined, they are an increasingly dangerous threat to tens of millions of Americans, especially those of Hispanic descent. With rates of sedentary lifestyles and sugar consumption at all-time highs, SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener is a nutritious alternative to sugar.

According to a 2009 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hispanics had 21 percent higher obesity prevalence compared with whites. In addition, among Hispanics in 50 states and the District of Columbia, the prevalence of obesity ranged from 21 percent to 36.7 percent, with 11 states having an obesity prevalence of 30 percent or higher. Research also suggests the average American consumes over 150 pounds of simple or refined sugars per year. Now more than ever, Americans need to put health first.

As SweetLeaf® causes no glycemic response, it is an ideal sugar substitute. Low GI diets have proven to improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) as well as reduced insulin levels in the bloodstream.

SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener is derived directly from the leaves of the stevia plant, a naturally sweet plant native to Paraguay, which is 30 times sweeter than sugar. The SweetLeaf® brand products are produced and distributed by the Gilbert, Ariz.,-based Wisdom Natural Brands®. Wisdom’s founder, Jim May, is the pioneer who first realized the potential of the stevia plant when visiting Paraguay and brought stevia to the United States more than 25 years ago.

Wisdom Natural Brands® is recognized as the world leader in quality stevia products and the market leader in sales at both natural and mass grocery stores with its SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener. SweetLeaf® is available in tabletop packets for sweetening iced as well as hot beverages, cereal, yogurt, fruit, or desserts. Convenient stevia tabs are easily carried in pocket or purse for sweetening hot drinks away from home. It’s an easy and tasty option for every meal of the day.

Change your life by changing your diet. For more information on SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener, please visit SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener and SweetLeaf® Liquid Stevia® are available at natural foods and grocery stores nationwide.

About SweetLeaf® Stevia
It all started with one man who had a dream – Jim May, Founder of Wisdom Natural Brands®.

Stevia is a naturally sweet herb native to Paraguay that has been consumed for centuries. After tasting stevia leaves given to him by a Peace Corps worker, May made it his mission to bring the extract from the deliciously sweet plant to the United States. May is world known as “The Father of Stevia.” The process involves taking the highest-quality leaves of the stevia plant and extracting their naturally sweet taste with only cool, purified water – no chemicals, solvents or additives that adulterate and cover up the great taste created by nature.

May first traveled to Paraguay to import stevia in 1982. His most satisfying victory came in 2008, when GRAS Associates and Life Science Research Office, two completely independent panels of scientists, awarded SweetLeaf® Stevia GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status, pursuant to FDA regulations. This allowed SweetLeaf® products made from its new, revolutionary extraction technology to be labeled as sweeteners. SweetLeaf® could finally use the word “sweet” to describe its product, now known as SweetLeaf® Sweetener.

FDA regulations allow companies to independently determine, through a self-affirmation process performed by highly-qualified scientists, that an ingredient is generally recognized as safe by qualified food science experts. The FDA granted a no-questions letter to SweetLeaf®‘s GRAS status in 2009, validating all the hard work done by May over more than a quarter of a century.

Wisdom Natural Brands®, a leading U.S. manufacturer of stevia products, offers SweetLeaf® Sweetener in convenient double-serving packets. SweetLeaf® Sweetener is sold in boxes containing either 50 or 100 packets. Each packet replaces two teaspoons of sugar. SweetLeaf® is also sold in the SweetLeaf® Stevia Plus® Shaker Bottle for easy home use and SweetLeaf® SteviaTabs® Dissolvable Tablets for easy on-the-go use.

Today, May is a leading expert on stevia and travels across the Americas promoting the benefits of the stevia plant.

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